A group of SMU alumni has come together on an NIL program that will provide more than $1 million annually to football players.
The group is led by businessman Paul Loyd and former NFL running back Eric Dickerson. Luke Crossland, Dick Anderson, Kelvin Beachum and Richie Butler, all former football players, have also joined the cause.
Loyd said in a statement:
“One of SMU’s biggest assets is the success and connectivity of SMU alums, of Dallas, and in combination the support for SMU student athletes. SMU is Dallas’s team and has made huge progress in every aspect of the program, so businesses stepping up for SMU NIL’s is yet another signal that SMU football is continuing the momentum and ready to take another huge step.”
SMU was once one of the preeminent college football programs in the country before receiving the so-called "death penalty" in 1987 for repeated violations of NCAA rules—most notably paying players.
While SMU football hasn't recovered to its former heights in the decades since, the school still boasts powerful and rich boosters—ones who seem eager to spark the program. The press release announcing the Pony Up program says it hopes to "expand quickly."
The NCAA began allowing players to make money off their name, image and likeness earlier this year.